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Bibil Identifier bibil:213403
Publication Type Book
Title (English, Long) If Sons, Then Heirs
Title (English, ) A Study of Kinship and Ethnicity in the Letters of Paul
Author Hodge, Caroline Johnson
Year (Publication) 2007
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2007
Year (Copyright) 2007
Year (Reference) 2007
Library Online
Signature -
Publishing house Cambridge University Press
Place Cambridge
ISBN 978-0-19-518216-3
Edition number 1
Language English
Pages xii Pages
246 Pages
height in cm 24
Genre Original
Abstract Christianity is understood to be a “universal” religion that transcends the particularities of history and culture, including differences related to kinship and ethnicity. This portrait of Christianity has been maintained by an interpretive tradition that claims that Paul eliminates ethnicity or at least separates it from what is important about Christianity. This study challenges that perception. Through an examination of kinship and ethnic language in Paul's letters, this book demonstrates that notions of peoplehood and lineage are not rejected or downplayed by Paul; instead they are central to his gospel. Paul's chief concern is the status of the gentile peoples who are alienated from the God of Israel. Ethnicity defines this theological problem, just as it shapes his own evangelizing of the ethnic and religious “other”. According to Paul, God has responded to the gentile predicament through Christ. Using the logic of patrilineal descent, Paul constructs a myth of origins for gentiles: through baptism into Christ the gentiles become descendants of Abraham, adopted sons of God and coheirs with Christ. Although Jews and gentiles now share a common ancestor, Paul does not collapse them into one group. They are separate but related lineages of Abraham. Kinship and ethnicity work well in Paul's arguments, for at the same time that they present themselves as natural and fixed, they are also open to negotiation and reworking. This paradox renders them effective tools in organizing people and power, shaping self-understanding and defining membership. This analysis demonstrates that Paul's thinking is immersed in the story of a specific people and their God. He speaks not as a Christian theologian, but as a 1st-century Jewish teacher of gentiles responding to concrete situations in the communities he founded.
DOI 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182163.001.0001
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Books of the New Testament : Letters of Paul
Thesaurus BiBIL : New Testament (Introduction) : Theology : Themes : Identity
Thesaurus BiBIL : Unbound Keywords : Ethnicity
Thesaurus BiBIL : New Testament (Introduction) : Theology : Themes : Nations
Last modification 2017-10-27